High School; the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly for 2008 students.
Let me tell you something.
High school isn't easy.
Everyone who's been through it knows this.
For some, it takes 4 years to get through the grueling teaching exercises and extensive amounts of homework. Others may have gotten out early. Even more have been stuck in the hellish hallways for longer periods.
And while parents can sit here and tell us that "it ain't as bad as it was!", that's not entirely true. Ryan Hupfer requested this hub, so I'll dedicate it to him. But let me warn you, Ryan; you may be in for quite the surprise.
- As a precaution, I'm warning you all now that I am very critical of my own generation. I'm also very critical of the education system. If you are offended by anything said in here, please understand that these are MY views. This is what I believe. You don't have to follow what I say. You do have free will, don't you?
Science has given us many new tools to educate our future "leaders." Computers, LCD screens, digital photography programs, CISCO, graphic engineering programs, flatscreen TVs, multimedia projectors, the internet. And while they're all good, helpful tools, they're not always "all they're cracked up to be."
Computers as learning tools. Who'd'a thunk, right? The computer has an extensive array of programs teachers can use to help in the learning process. We've got programs on how to use Microsoft Office. We have programs to help students with math homework (oh, I'll get to that later). We've got programs to help students build up good typing skills (ha, like they use it? wen dey tipe lyek dis? hunt and peck, anyone?), how do digitally edit photos (ooh, now they'll know how to blur out copyrights!), how to put a car engine together, how to build up communication networks (yay CISCO!), how to upload their class papers to websites that check for spelling errors and proper citations (because they obviously can't do this on their own). I may sound cynical, but in truth, the computer has brought many great tools to the fingertips of today's student. Including, but not limited to, how to hack the system mainframe and mess with their grades, and how to get porn shots flashing on every computer screen in the network. We're a smart generation!
Seriously though, computers = great, if you know how to manage kids using them. In some schools, kids are even allowed to bring in their own laptops for typing up teacher's lectures (yeah right, half of America's youth can't type above 60 wpm!). Honestly, computers are our future. Oldbies have accepted this, and have begun to teach us young'uns the ways of Windows and the web.
> LCD Screens
What can I say? They're prettier! And they break easier! So we put a crap-ton of these babies in our schools and whine when they break. Most students respect the idea of You break it, you buy it. Some don't. And others don't care that it cost the school thousands upon thousands of dollars to install those damn things, they just like to break shiny new toys.
They do catch our eye, though.
>Digital Photography Programs
Great if you're going for a career in graphic design. Great if you're super into photography. Not so great if you like to steal images/video off the web and claim it as your own handiwork. Teachers may not know this, but yeah; their students do illegal, idiotic things with their knowledge behind their backs. I've seen and convicted several students who tried to pull this little number off, but were caught with their fingers in the cookie jar. Stealing is wrong, boys and girls!
CISCO is amazing. It's one of the few things I wish I'd learned about before I graduated this past June. Taking courses in this super-growing technology will land kids serious jobs with serious pay. If your teen's even remotely into computers, suggest these courses. Most high schools have the classes listed for students to participate in.
CISCO is basically a big communications software/hardware/computer whatchamajiggerthing that reminds me of the internet, only not as imbecilic. Something about telecommunications? I don't entirely know, to be honest, but it'd be a good thing to look up later. Anywho, this technology is growing fast and coming strong, and it is a great thing to look into.
>Graphic Engineering Programs
Another great technology tool. I don't know much about this, either, but I know it involves a lot of math and computer know-how I don't possess. Sorry folks, I'm more of an English/History/Music/Art dork. I'm not bad at math; we just don't see eye-to-eye.
Now you can have your own school TV episodes in your classrooms! No more reading the announcements over the intercom! No more daily bulletins! No more teacher responsibility in letting the students know what the skinny is in the building!
While they're not entirely a bad idea, they still aren't a good idea. They break easily. They cost a ton to have installed, unless you're lucky and your janitor's not as dumb as you thought he was. They can cause some serious controversial turmoil within the student and faculty bodies. I'll discuss this later.
Essentially, whlie they do provide some information to the students, and make information easily accessable (alls you gotta do is look up, kids!) to the students, they're pretty much a waste within our schools' walls. Unless you're watching a movie in class. Then they're nice; if you can get the darn thing to do what you want it to do.
Basically like computers and the TVs, but some come with those SmartBoards, which are way too much fun to play with. They are a little easier to understand, though, since most schools have training on how to use them. Leave no slow teach behind, man!
BLAH! Do you parents have any idea what your kids do on the 'net at school? Trust me when I say you don't. We love to find ways around firewalls and protection junks. Easiest thing to do, find a proxy. Now, not all schools are stupid; they'll go through Google to get rid of whatever proxy servers they can find. But they don't know that quite a number of us kids have access to proxies they don't even know about.
Ah, Yahoo, how you saved me from the boredom of Media Studies class...
Yahoo has this group thing. There are many groups in this group thing. Including a group that'll send you three new proxies a day in your inbox so you never have to miss a Myspace comment or a YouTube upload.
We don't do what we're told to do. We do what we're told not to do. And we revel in the moment of it.
Ack, don't even get me started. I LOATHE homework.
Then again, I learn too fast, so I found it way too tedious for my taste.
Homework is getting harder. Homework is getting longer. Homework is getting doubled.
Students have (mostly) come to accept these facts, but when we need help, we can't always get it right away. Our own parents barely comprehend what we're learning anymore because of Education's lovely learning levels. I'll discuss that later.
Point is, we're getting tons and tons of homework. Papers, math equations, history projects; you name it, we're doing it. I bet most of you don't know what a PSA report is, let alone how the hell you're supposed to write one up. I do. And I despise it with a passion.
Most schools run 6.5-7 hour shifts. 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. is the average. And they think they can jam-pack those 7 hours with upwards of 8 classes a day, all with at least an hour's worth of homework.
Do you think we're a bunch of supergeniuses who can stop time to do all this crap?
Now, my school was pretty smart. We had about 4 classes a day, with some classes split in half depending on teacher availability. You can get a lot done in those 4 classes. You can also get very bored and get nothing done.
Then you include extracurricular activities, which are seriously important to us. Not always because we enjoy them, but because college looms on the horizon. Colleges loooooove extracurricular activities. And GPAs. Which, I personally believe, mean absolutely jack-squat. We're so busy worrying about our futures, about "getting into the right college," "landing the right job," that we barely have time to enjoy our high school experiences.
Cut us some slack, man. We like to have a little sit-down-and-relax time, too!
Education is getting more advanced by the year. They expect more and more and more and more and MORE AND MORE AND MORE out of us. Not everyone's up to it. Not everyone can keep up with the learning curve. Not everyone's a friggin' Einstein.
Basic knowledge? Pfft, who needs that? Apparently not us. We're required to know college level biology, chemistry, physics, english, history, art, music, math. At least, if we want to get by in the world.
According to whom?
I don't need to know the theory of relativity to be a librarian. I don't need to know every element on the Periodic Table to be a wedding planner. I don't need to know the exact date of every President's death to be a construction manager.
While a well-rounded education's not a bad thing, some things are just ridiculous.
Allow me to give you my greatest example:
WHAT THE MOTHER BLIPPING HECK ARE IMAGINARY NUMBERS?!
More importantly, WHERE THE HECK AM I GOING TO APPLY THAT KNOWLEDGE IN THE FIELD I DESIRE?!
My brother Mik begs to differ that they're easy, and that anyone can learn them. That everyone should know about them, or at least learned about them once.
Bull-flipping-crap. Just because I'm not a giant math whiz like him doesn't mean I need to know about them. Heck, I don't even remember what their purpose was, it was that unimportant. My own math teacher at the time couldn't tell me what use I could possibly have for them. All he could tell me was that I needed to know them to pass 11th grade Algebra.
Our system's getting seriously messed up. They expect higher test scores, but they make the tests harder to comprehend. They expect higher grades, but they make the learning material oodles more difficult. Anyone else see the flaws in this?
Funding? What funding? Hahaha, ur fnny.
School funding has been having some issues. Mostly, where the funding is going. Many schools have had to cut teachers, classes, sports events, extracurriculars, and other employees (such as janitors and bus drivers) because of budget cuts.
If it ain't popular or "really" worth having, it's gone now.
We, the students, are not exactly happy campers about this. Some of us liked Knowledge Bowl. Some of us liked Marching Band. Some of us liked Photography. Automotive Maintenance. Keyboarding II (aka How The Hell You Use Microsoft Office and Why It's Worth Knowing About It). Printmaking. Painting. Music Theory and Composition. Jazz Band and Choir. Men's Choir. Math League. Small Animal Vet Care. Large Animal Vet Care.
Some of us liked our passions. And then they took them away.
And what can we do about it?
We can try and form protests (been there, watched 'em fail). We can try and talk with the school boards (been there, watched 'em fail). We can try and speak with our state's senators, governers, legislation (been there, watched 'em fail). And why do we fail? Because we don't have the resources to reach out to the public and let them know just what's happening in our schools. We're not all Daddy's Little Rich Girl with her fingers in every glass. Then again, from my personal experiences, those kinds of kids really don't give a damn about education because they have no financial worries to worry about in their futures.
We, the students, have little power in our education system.
This is a problem.
You think politicians are the only ones who have to worry about reputations?
My generation has the worst problem with them.
We're called slackers, lazies, good-for-nothings, basic laborers. We're referred to as "darn kids," "waste of space," "results of bad parenting."
We're not all bad.
A lot of us are into volunteering in our communities. We like to see change for the better. We get a kick out of recycling, hybrid cars, green companies. We try our damnedest to do what's right, and we're still labeled as Rebels.
We rebel for a reason, folks.
While some kids do it to follow the herd, there are those of us who do it for a cause. Next time you see a student protest, why not ask someone why they're protesting? Don't ask them what they're protesting for. Find out their personal views. They might not match yours, but they aren't just "Because protesting is fun!"
Think about it.
When you see a high school kid walking down the street, go up to him and talk about things. Ask him about education. Find out where he stands. See why he thinks and says what he thinks and says.
We get into a lot of trouble, but we're trying to do a lot of good, too.
- As previously mentioned, these are my opinions. You have yours, and you have a right to them. But don't go hating me because of mine, for they are mine alone and I don't go attacking yours. Though, if you do belittle mine, I will have to retaliate.
- Also, if there is something about the education system you're having a problem with, and it wasn't mentioned here, feel free to leave a comment.
- One more thing; commenters, try to keep it PG, or at least PG13. Minimal swearing; minimal, if not no, sexual harassment (such as "UR A DIRTY HO BECUZ U R RONG!" though it may not look exactly like that); and remember, everyone's entitled to their own beliefs. This isn't a hate Hub, even though I did bash America's Education pretty badly.